Hong Kong (AP) - In light of ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong, US President Donald Trump has pointed out that China is currently deploying troops on the border with the metropolis.
He was informed about this by the US secret services, wrote Trump on Twitter. All parties should keep calm and provide security, Trump continued.
Shortly before, Trump told reporters about the tense situation: "I hope nobody gets hurt. I hope nobody gets killed. "
Several media have recently reported an increasing presence of Chinese military on the border with Hong Kong. At the beginning of the week, state media also leaked videos of armored paramilitary police vehicles gathered at the border in Shenzhen. It was an exercise, it said.
For more than two months now, Hong Kong has been experiencing massive anti-government protests that regularly end in riots. It was triggered by a government bill to facilitate the extradition of alleged criminals to China. The protests developed into a broader movement.
On Tuesday, protests by thousands of government critics at Hong Kong Airport had led to violent clashes with the police. Dozens of officers with batons, helmets and shields invaded the activist-fueled airport, which had been completely paralyzed for hours due to the blockade.
During the night (local time) the situation calmed down again. Most of the activists went home, and the police withdrew. At the airport, planes landed again. The airport is the central hub for long-haul flights over China and Southeast Asia.
According to the US State Department, the Chinese government refused to allow two US warships to stay in the Hong Kong port amid the tense situation in the region. The government in Beijing had rejected such requests, it was said. The stay of the two ships in Hong Kong was planned "in the next few weeks". Details were not mentioned. The US side referred to the Chinese government for more details.
The relationship between the two countries is currently heavily affected by bitter trade disputes. Also in connection with the protests of the government critics in Hong Kong there had been last dispute between both sides. The background was the meeting of a US diplomat with activists in Hong Kong - which criticized China as inappropriate interference.
The former British Crown Colony of Hong Kong has been autonomously governed as a separate territory since its return in 1997 to China. Unlike the people of the Communist People's Republic, the Hong Kong people enjoy freedom of expression, freedom of the press and assembly. Many now see these rights at risk.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also expressed concern. "Things are escalating more and more. Therefore, one can only appeal that all sides take back, "he said on a visit to New York. "It will remain important for us, however, that the right to freedom of expression will not be affected."
According to a report in the Hong Kong newspaper "South China Morning Post," the police rushed into the terminal building in the evening to help a man who had been held for hours by protesters and accused of being an agent from mainland China. Paramedics finally brought the man out of the airport. Police cars were attacked and windows smashed in front of the building.
At times, the protesters also arrested another man, whom they also accused of working as an agent. They tied him with cable ties, and some demonstrators tried to beat him. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese newspaper Global Times, wrote on Twitter that the man was a newspaper reporter. He was released from the police and taken to the hospital.
China's government has recently been more vigorous in calling for restoring order in the Special Administrative Region and ending the violence.